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help syringe feeding poorly bunny

(22 Posts)
lucylouuu Wed 07-Feb-18 17:44:00

My rabbit ( 9 months told ) hasn't had any water or eaten for 24 hours so took her to the vet today, she's okay and they're not sure what it is but checked her gut etc and all fine. I've been given 2 medicines and sone liquid food to syringe feed her but as she's hiding in all corners of the room and i can't sit her down to feed her and when i tried earlier her mouth just wouldn't open

any suggestions or help? i'm still really worried about her

Bamaluz Wed 07-Feb-18 17:47:39

Have a look on youtube for videos of syringe feeding so you know what to do, it helps to see how it's done.

MostIneptThatEverStepped Wed 07-Feb-18 17:48:28

I'm happy to be corrected by others if this is bad advice but does bunny like banana? Maybe put some mashed banana on the end to get her to lick it.
I have had a couple of nights with my daughter's bunny where he needed regular meds through the night. I think I just gently but firmly poked it in his mouth.

lucylouuu Wed 07-Feb-18 17:51:16

that's a good idea about the banana on the syringe thank you very much! I'll try some videos now. The vet showed me how but as she's been hiding under tables etc it's hard to pick her up to feed her

MostIneptThatEverStepped Wed 07-Feb-18 18:47:12

Good luck! I remember well the frustration!

Notsoaccidentproneanymore Wed 07-Feb-18 18:52:09

I had to do this after one of my bunnies was castrated. I wrapped him in an old towel and sat him on my lap, then stroked him till he was calm.

The syringe fits into the side of the mouth. Your bunny will open her mouth when you begin to put the syringe in. It’s not like trying to cajole a reluctant child.

You just have to plunge it slowly

FluffyBunnyTails Wed 07-Feb-18 18:58:14

Oh your poor bunny!
Definitely side of the mouth, small syringes are better. As horrible as it is be firm as they often refuse syringe feeding if left up to them.

Pineapple juice also helps and they love it. Also syringe water if she's not drinking.

Hope she gets better soon x

lucylouuu Wed 07-Feb-18 19:09:54

the hardest bit now seems to be just getting her to sit on my lap! i managed to wrap in her blanket and feed her some critical care ( most of it ended up being dribbled out ) and she's taken the small syringe of one her medicines.

Obviously the vet knows best but they couldn't really tell what was wrong and i'm so worried about her! thanks for all your advice, side of the mouth worked with the small syringe xx

wineandcheeseplease Wed 07-Feb-18 19:11:33

I know a wonderful rabbit forum if you want to ask there. Full of people with great knowledge on things like syringe feeding. Pm me if you do

MsMims Wed 07-Feb-18 19:16:12

She really needs to see a rabbit savvy vet. They are an exotic pet and not all vets are adept at dealing with them. It’s not really good enough to just leave her undiagnosed as a rabbit who stops eating is an emergency.

Try searching here

How are you getting on with the syringe feeding now? Has she done any poos?

lucylouuu Wed 07-Feb-18 20:17:14

she's wrapped in a blanket sleeping on my lap, she won't take her medicine atall it's just dribbling down her, it goes in the back of her mouth but no swallowing. no poos all day

lucylouuu Wed 07-Feb-18 22:30:37

just back from 24 emergency vets, i knew something wasn't right and went back, she's got gut stasis and is being kept in over night

MsMims Thu 08-Feb-18 01:31:05

Sorry you’ve had to take her back but definitely the right thing to do. I think you were let down by the first vet tbh. It can be incredibly hard to reverse gut stasis for even an experienced person.

Fingers crossed she improves overnight. Well done for following your instincts and taking her again - if she wasn’t swallowing or pooing you would have lost her.

lucylouuu Thu 08-Feb-18 07:28:42

thank you! i think they did too and when i went back the vet was concerned the previous one hadn't noticed!

they rang me in the night saying the prognosis wasn't good and she'd need surgery ( which would make the bill £900 ) and to prepare myself etc but just rang now to say she's improved and has done some poos and is taking her medicine now and jumping around so hopefully she makes a full recoverysmile

lou1221 Thu 08-Feb-18 07:31:47

Oh poor bunny, hope she gets better soon.

TimeIhadaNameChange Thu 08-Feb-18 10:47:10

Glad to hear she's feeling better!

For future, get a bag of Burgess DualCare in. Like CC it doesn't have a long shelf life, but it is much cheaper, and much more palatable by all accounts. It comes in nugget form, but you can water it down into a paste if necessary.

I've had three seriously ill rabbits over winter. One died, one was very close to dying and I was very concerned about the quality of life of the third, but they've managed to munch their way through three bags of DC, put on most of the weight they lost and are now chewing their way through the house! To see them now you'd not believe how ill they had been. So I highly recommend it.

lucylouuu Thu 08-Feb-18 15:28:40

thanks time i'll look into that!
she's coming home today! she's eating and pooping and is ready to carry on her medicine at home.
it's crazy how in just 24 hours she's gone from not quite right to about to die to completely normal again!

lucylouuu Fri 09-Feb-18 00:48:00

thanks for all the advice she's home now and i've managed to give her all her medicine absolutely fine!

TimeIhadaNameChange Fri 09-Feb-18 14:37:50

Am so pleased for you!


bunnygeek Mon 12-Feb-18 10:57:52

So glad she's turned a corner and on the mend! Stasis is a right nasty one sad

With syringe feeding, I found the easiest way to get the syringe in there is to first have the right kind of syringe. The Recovery food syringe is the best one as it's got a nice long nozzle. A kitchen counter is the best height for the bun as long as you're sure she's not going to fly off. Sit her on a blanket, wrap one arm right around her and use that hand to hold her head with her bum in the nook of your elbow so she can't scuttle backwards. Hold her against your body too so she feels secure, then go in from the side of the mouth - there's a gap just behind the incisors you're aiming for. If you can get them to chew on the syringe a bit then you know you're good to squeeze a bit in.

lucylouuu Mon 12-Feb-18 18:08:43

thank you! also how long should i be giving her her medicine for? she's been having 3 different medicines twice a day for 4 days now and i'm not sure when to stop, she seems completely back to normal and is less reluctant to have any now

TimeIhadaNameChange Wed 14-Feb-18 10:41:10

Did the vet not say how long to give them for? I'd ring up and ask.

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